Entertainment & Arts

Eoin Colfer named Ireland's children's laureate

Eoin Colfer
Image caption Colfer has written eight books in the Artemis Fowl series

Eoin Colfer, author of the Artemis Fowl series of books, has been named Ireland's new children's laureate,

As well as writing children's fiction, Colfer wrote the sixth instalment in the Douglas Adams' series The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy.

Colfer said: "I intend to spend my time spreading stories to every nook and cranny in the country.

"Nobody is safe. It doesn't matter where you hide - I will find you and tell you a story."

The former primary school teacher from Wexford will hold the title Laureate na nOg for two years, taking over the role from Niamh Sharkey.

The children's laureate title not only honours the author for outstanding work but tasks them with promoting and celebrating literature for children.

"I feel incredibly honoured and incredibly petrified to be taking on the Laureate mantle after Niamh and Siobhan (Parkinson). I feel I am representing my family and my county and indeed all book people in Ireland which is not something I mean to take lightly," said Colfer.

Colfer's first novel, Benny and Omar, was based on his experiences of travelling and working in Tunisia.

His first Artemis Fowl book, published in 2001, became a best-seller and spawned seven further novels.

Aimed at the young adult audience, the fantasy books focus on a young criminal mastermind who kidnaps a fairy in order to expand his empire.

To mark the 30th anniversary of The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy, with the permission of Douglas Adams' family, Colfer wrote a sixth book in the series, And Another Thing, something Adams had always planned.

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